Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boats Rolling under Full Sail with Moored Shipping, Perhaps off Cowes or East Cowes

1827

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 139 x 192 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D20891
Turner Bequest CCXXVIII 31

Catalogue entry

This is among dozens of blue paper studies presumably made in connection with the Cowes Regatta events in the late summer of 1827; see the Introduction to this subsection for others showing shipping under sail and in some cases apparently racing. Whether intentionally or fortuitously, the dramatic rolling of the boats, seen from astern, is reminiscent of the central incident in the painting Fishing Boats Entering Calais Harbour of about 1803 (Frick Collection, New York),1 engraved in 1816 for the Liber Studiorum (Tate impression: A01116).
As noted in the Introduction, the present work and thirty-four other sheets were recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory as unmounted, and ‘formed part of [a] parcel’ labelled by John Ruskin ‘O. 232. Chalk scrawls on grey. Rubbish.’2
1
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.108 no.142, pl.147 (colour).
2
Finberg 1909, II, p.702.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘232 | O’ top left, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXVIII . 31’ bottom right.

Matthew Imms
November 2015

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